My mom has never been a cook but boy, oh boy can she bake. Its something I did with her as a kid. She never cared about the mess while we were baking. It was about doing something together! Of course, one of her famous lines is, “Any mess you make, you clean up!” We did have to clean it all up in the end.
I cherish all of those memories so much that I now bake regularly with Z. I take it as an opportunity to make time just to be with him, let him be the leader and to give him an outlet. Baking with kids may sound hectic and unwise to some, but truth be told there is so much you can do to make it stress free and fun. We always start by washing our hands. Then we get out everything we need including the ingredients. I let Z measure, pour, turn on the stand mixer, stir and even lick the spoon. Isn’t that what its all about anyway? So many lessons can be rolled into baking (pun intended). Z has learned vocabulary such as “ingredients” and “recipe”. He also is getting the hang of measuring and knows the importance of taking your time, following the directions and doing it in order. I also love the little conversation that happens when we bake. He gabs on and on about school, his friends and what he wants to be when he grows up (a baker and a helicopter pilot). My point is that baking isn’t always about the end product of getting to eat the cookies. It can be about the process just as much as the tasty results. I can’t wait for O to be big enough to help bake too. I love creating these memories.
The following is my mother’s Snickerdoodle recipe in her own handwriting. A classic, she even sent it to my cousin while he was in basic training. Obviously she skips the cream of tarter.
Mix all of the wet ingredients above the line in a mixer, then add the dry. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Kids can roll the dough into small balls and roll well in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Over-baking these will dry them out but if you get it just right they are super chewy.
Who used to let you help in the kitchen? Anyone have a favorite recipe? DO SHARE!
A sure sign of fall is definitely a classic sugar cookie in the shape of a pumpkin. Who doesn’t love a classic sugar cookie?!
Here is my favorite recipe for rolling out great shapes. I also have found (through tons of disastrous attempts) a better way to roll and bake cut outs. First lay out several pieces of parchment paper cut to the approximate size of my cookie sheet (in my case I use a baking stone… And I highly recommend this one for perfect pizza and cookies). Then you can either roll your dough on the counter, cut your shapes and transfer to the parchment OR if you aren’t good at gently transferring dough you can roll dough directly on the parchment and use your cutters spaced apart as you would place them to bake and peel away the excess so your cut outs are left to bake. And you never have to risk breaking them since you never have to lift and move them! I repeat this on all my parchment pieces until I’m out of dough. Then all you have to do is slide each piece of parchment onto the cookie sheet as the others are slid off to cool on the paper after baking. This is especially helpful with kids. They can roll all of their shapes at once and not worry about breaking them apart. So simple!
PSSST! The dollar store usually has perfectly good cookie cutters. Also, I wait for the day or too after a holiday for specifically themed cookie cutters to go on sale for super cheap! We use them over and over for play dough, fun shaped sandwiches and pancakes, salt dough gift tags and more!
In addition to baking some fantastic cookies, made trips to several local pumpkin patches. I heard about Blooms and Berries Farm in Loveland, Ohio from a few neighbors at work. It was a fantastic place for the kids! Corn maize, mini hay bail maze for smaller kids, hayrides, and little pumpkin and fall themed play sets.
I fell in love with this pile of misfit pumpkins and gourds. I wanted to buy them all (but didn’t).
This farm also had a corn box instead of a sand box. I’m not quite sure how Baby O felt about it, but I thought it was adorable and even the big kids liked it! Consequently, I found kernels in the dryer, my car and in shoes. Oh well.